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Humanities 2017, 6(2), 16; doi:10.3390/h6020016

Barking at Heaven’s Door: Pluto Mehra in the Hindi Film Dil Dhadakne Do

Department of Humanities, University of Turin, via Giulia di Barolo 3/a, Turin 10124, Italy
Academic Editor: Joela Jacobs
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 24 March 2017 / Accepted: 3 April 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Narratology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [272 KB, uploaded 7 April 2017]

Abstract

In this article, I discuss the representation of pets in the 2015 commercial Hindi comedy-drama (commonly known as Bollywood) Dil Dhadakne Do (DDD), which translates to Let the Heart Beat; this is the first ever case of a Hindi movie having a dog as a narrator. For centuries, Indian animal tales have had a habit of anthropomorphizing, but generally narratives about dogs uphold the basic prejudice that they are polluting and degraded animals. DDD introduces a dog named Pluto Mehra, not only as a pet, but as the fifth member of the Mehra family, with the role of the sutradhaar (storyteller, narrator) who recounts the story of a rich, dysfunctional family. Pluto knows the Mehras’ foibles and follies, and he is the only voice of reason among them. A generational shift in one’s outlook towards pets has taken place in the Indian middle classes: pets are no longer perceived as animals that must serve some purpose, but are actually considered to be equal members of the family, even becoming a statement of style for pet owners. I analyze this attitude reversal toward animals within the context of a globalized economy and consumerist ideology. View Full-Text
Keywords: Hindi cinema; Bollywood; speaking animals; animal narrator; human-animal studies; world literature Hindi cinema; Bollywood; speaking animals; animal narrator; human-animal studies; world literature
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Consolaro, A. Barking at Heaven’s Door: Pluto Mehra in the Hindi Film Dil Dhadakne Do. Humanities 2017, 6, 16.

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